X

Cookies on SurvivingInfidelity.com®

SurvivingInfidelity.com® uses cookies to enhance your visit to our website. This is a requirement for participants to login, post and use other features. Visitors may opt out, but the website will be less functional for you.

more information about cookies...

Return to Forum List

Return to General

SurvivingInfidelity.com® > General

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

Purposely Withholding

Pages: 1 · 2

Darkness Falls posted 9/27/2020 07:54 AM

CR, in my case itís okóI donít want to be married to him and the thought of sex with him makes me shudder; our M is over in all ways except in nameóbut Iím sorry for anyone else who still wants their M and is caught up in the initiating game.

sisoon posted 9/27/2020 09:56 AM

Let me see if I understand this. You sort of set a boundary - she has to initiate physical affection.

1) Did she agree to initiate?
2) What consequences were going to follow if she did not initiate?

For newbies: I believe it's important to set observable requirements for R. I also believe the WS probably won't get far in R without showing a lot of desire for physical touch with the BS.

Requiring the WS to initiate affection and sex as part of R makes perfect sense to me, as does dumping the WS unless the requirement is met.

CR,

You seem to be saying that initiating affection is no longer a problem. If I read that right, great.

What's prompting this thread? Is something about the conversation still bothering you?

*****

I don't know what is in your W's mind, but from your descriptions, I'd call her 'purposely clueless' rather than 'purposely withholding.' Her purpose is to maintain her defenses.

The hell of it is that maintaining the defenses is more difficult than being authentic, but you don't find that out until you've taken the defenses down.

She wasn't saying "I don't know" in regards to why she wouldn't ask. What she was really saying was "I don't know how to ask a question I'm not prepared to follow through on."
That's what I mean by 'purposely clueless.'

Again, you seem to be saying she's learning. Id I'm reading you right, that's great.

[This message edited by sisoon at 9:58 AM, September 27th (Sunday)]

Justsomeguy posted 9/27/2020 11:40 AM

My buddy had a dead bedroom marriage... His W was just not intended and they had it maybe once a month. I suggested that he explain to her that since meaningful communication was 8mportant to her, that he take the same approach. Just tell her that he is more than willing to sit down with her for about 20 minutes once a month, since he doesn't really need to talk any more than that, even though it's a need of hers.

Funny how when you turn things around, they seem kinda wacky...

CaptainRogers posted 9/27/2020 12:35 PM

You seem to be saying that initiating affection is no longer a problem. If I read that right, great.

What's prompting this thread? Is something about the conversation still bothering you?

You are absolutely reading things correctly, sisoon. Things are certainly on the upside these days rather than upside-down.

As to what is prompting the thread, well...I guess I like to replay things that I don't fully understand in order to find understanding. And, to help out folks who may think they are the only ones in that situation as well. I was pretty sure I am not rhw only one who has had to struggle with the concept being turned around on them (gaslighting) by a spouse. And certainly, if there are folks out there who are purposely withholding, I wanted them to see that there is damage, and potential long-term, irreparable damage, being done.

So mostly, it was me checking to see if what I was thinking was in line with how things ought to be understood.

I think the whole "purposely clueless" or "willfully ignorant" happens all too often and is most likely the result of one of two things. Either we are being stubborn and refuse to see something from any other perspective, or we are being defensive and saying that doing X is admitting guilt, so if I don't do X, then I must not be guilty and won't need to deal with that.

Just a couple of thoughts on that.

CaptainRogers posted 9/27/2020 12:43 PM

Let me see if I understand this. You sort of set a boundary - she has to initiate physical affection.

1) Did she agree to initiate?
2) What consequences were going to follow if she did not initiate?

It was less of a boundary and more of an understanding. I liken it to saying "I suck at washing the clothes. I either get the water temp wrong or I mix colors or I just can't figure out how to use the settings or I use too much bleach. Whatever I try, it just doesn't work. I need you to help me by running the washing machine."

No "I'm never washing clothes again." No "You have to be the one to wash because you owe me." None of that. More along the ones of "I like clean clothes. You like clean clothes. I need your help to get the clothes clean."

What happens without help? Well, thw clothes don't get cleaned. Basically, the consequences were natural ones. No initiation meant no sex. Didn't mean that I quit performing acts of service or spending time with her. Didn't mean that I would quit taking care of what needed done around the house. Just meant that I didn't have the capacity at that point to initiate anything. I wouldn't say no if she initiated. Just couldn't start that machine on my own, if you will.

BluerThanBlue posted 9/27/2020 15:21 PM

Iíll rephrase my last comment, this time using your analogy:

Saying ďI need your help doing the laundry or I wonít do itĒ only works when you have a spouse who gives a shit about whether the laundry gets done. She clearly doesnít. If she did, she would help.

Poppy704 posted 9/27/2020 19:33 PM

What is A, B, C that sheís asking for? For you to hold her hand? Extra sleep? An empty sink at bedtime? Itís not fair to ask us to condemn her without knowing what she is asking for.

One person ALWAYS needing to initiate isnít healthy, in and of itself. It kills libido. Then telling that person (who oh by the way has a myriad of health issues and a half dozen children) that they not only are they required to initiate all intimacy but that if they make requests it make it ďtransactionalĒ and how theyíre guilty of something new. At some point in R she gets to make requests too, and her feelings also matter.

CaptainRogers posted 9/27/2020 20:04 PM

The ABC pieces were all about pursuing her, being more affectionate, more touching, teasing, etc.

Not asking anyone to condemn, so that seems to be a bit over the edge. Just checking to see if my thoughts were off base.

This happened several months ago and has been worked through at this point, just wrapping my head around whether I'm nuts or not.

Poppy704 posted 9/27/2020 20:26 PM

Written out like that it sounds VERY VERY reasonable. She would also like you to be affectionate. Thatís a good thing. Not an exchange of services at all.

hikingout posted 9/29/2020 10:14 AM

This happened several months ago and has been worked through at this point, just wrapping my head around whether I'm nuts or not.

You are not nuts. For the tide to change, I believe it is on the WS to do some heavy lifting. The dynamic of what Oldwounds is talking about - where both people are focused on giving - I feel has to start with the WS who did the damage. That doesn't apply to every situation, I certainly understand Poppy's perspective in the situation she came from.

In our situation, I never withheld affection or sex in our marriage. In fact I am pretty sure my husband would tell you in our decades together he would have a hard time finding enough times I said no that would make the count go above one hand.

(However, I will add that my husband has tempered some of his initiation if he could already tell I was just genuinely not feeling well or tired)

Anyway, initiating was something I did very little of before dday. I would clearly give the "let's go" signals often because we had a pretty consistent pattern of intimacy so it wasn't like he had initiation/rejection patterns. This kind of lent to the idea that we both just assumed we would do it part of the time. But even with that, I would say he was mostly the initiating party.

After everything, I found that I needed to change that pattern. It was very uncomfortable for a while, and in fact I did get turned down a lot. In some ways I think that persistence and ability to deal with rejection, and being able to look past how I felt about it and understand how he was feeling was important on our path. I would say things are more at a normalcy now, so it's definitely not something I think that has to happen forever. But, for many, that is not just a reset after infidelity, but also part of building the marriage differently. An important part in my estimation.

godheals posted 9/29/2020 11:11 AM

I always read here that it takes two people to R. Both need to put the effort in. But I also see that when a WS is not doing x y z that itís not up to the BS but itís all on the WS.

My H and I are almost five years out. We have happily R. Still have our M problems but nothing major. From my point of view as a WW if I reach out to my H a few times but donít get nothing back from him it does hold me back a little until I can feel or see his giving back. I donít make up my mind on purpose to do this itís just in human nature. If I keep putting myself out there during the wrong time for him or when his not feeling it then yes it prevents me to keep trying for a short amount of time. Sooner or later my H does give back then it opens that door again for me.

It takes two people. When one is not feeling it and one keeps getting turned down they become caution. And just because I am a WW donít mean I need to be feeling it each time my H is also. But I do give even if I am not feeling it. But not always. Itís a give and take. It needs to work both ways. I canít have the same feelings as my H when he does each time.

I think all hold back at one point or another if we keep getting rejected. Maybe some do on purpose but I am sure some do it because itís just human nature. I donít make the choice ok then next time he gives I am going to hold back or I am not giving until he does.

If itís been a few months for you two then I am wondering what was going on right before then that made you two get to this point. It sounds to me like both gave up because one was not trying and maybe the other was but kept getting rejected. So the other said screw it. Idk. Maybe you both got too comfortable and it just stop.

Thatís something you two need to sit down and talk about what happen. I donít think itís all her fault that nothing has been going on for two months. But we can all easy fall into the same cycle. I am just wondering at one point during R when the BS needs to give the same amount of effort as the WS? It canít all be the WS to make it work when in fact it takes two people to R.

CaptainRogers posted 9/29/2020 17:31 PM

I am wondering what was going on right before then that made you two get to this point.

A very good question and totally valid. godheals and hikingout, you both bring up a very good points/questions around the concept of rejection.

From the overall bedroom perspective, in our 26 years of marriage, I can also count on one hand how many times I have told my wife "not tonight". On the other hand, I would be told "not tonight" over and over and over. There have been times in our 26 years that we would go 6-9 months between sessions. And it wasn't because I didn't try to initiate.

In the months leading up to the discussion referenced, we were just coming through A season, just passed the 3 year mark with D-Day v1.0 and were nearing the 2 year mark of D-Day v2.0.

As far as "life" in general, I was still somewhat reeling from a further discussion we had recently had about her lack of effort in rebuilding (and a very consistent effort in rugsweeping & pretending "new house, new beginning"). I had disclosed a discussion I had with the AP about 9 months prior where he had a "come to Jesus" moment and decided that he needed to reach out and tell me "what else" happened that I didn't know about. I had held onto that knowledge for all that time, offering my wife a couple of opportunities to give me any other details she had been leaving out.

When I finally told her what I had been holding onto, she said "I can understand why that is weighing on you. I don't have anything to say about it. There's no use in denying anything." What was the "new information?" That the physical nature of their relationship went beyond "just kissing" and included everything (touching, oral, etc.) short of actual penetration.

It was at that time that I initially told her that I couldn't initiate (probably 3 months prior to the conversation regarding withholding) and that she absolutely needed to turn on the pursuit and affection because I had absolutely zero left to give.

Forward three months, there was little to no affection/pursuit, and physical intimacy happened 1-2x per month. I had tried to initiate a couple of times in that timeframe and was told "not tonight".

Eventually, we got to the discussion that started with me asking why she was not pursuing/initiating and that's when I got hit with the "Well, I need you to be doing XYZ..." and the conversation was off and running.

I hope that gives a little more background that you were looking for.

This0is0Fine posted 9/29/2020 17:48 PM

Sounds transactional as hell to me.

I honestly am a little out of my depth to offer advice on how to handle your specific situation. I wouldn't stand for a two month dry spell TBH.

When I get rejected I simply say, "I accept your rejection. I will let you initiate next time."

Inevitably, she eventually does (usually within a few days).

oldtruck posted 9/29/2020 18:36 PM

hikingout, you said you never withheld sex during your
marriage. Does that include your during your PA?
I apologize before asking the next question. Did you have
sexual contact with your BH within 24 hours after having
sexual contact with your OM?

hikingout posted 9/29/2020 21:38 PM

Old truck,
The physical aspect of my affair was on one business trip. H was also on a longer trip. Last physical contact with ap was on a Tuesday, didnít see h until Sunday. I do not recall if we were intimate immediately or not. If not I am
Certain it would have been at least by Monday because we typically bookend travel. The Ap lives far away from me, so there was no other overlap or physical intimacy.

Yes. Our sex life was pretty normal during the A. However, my emotional state was not. Just prior to the A and for a little while after I had some dysfunction in that area. We still had regular intimacy throughout that time.

[This message edited by hikingout at 9:39 PM, September 29th (Tuesday)]

PricklePatch posted 9/29/2020 22:59 PM

I finally understood for mr wanting sex I needed to feel loved. For my husband it is the opposite he feels love after we have sex.

Thru a lot of talking and compromise we are now meeting each otherís needs.

godheals posted 9/30/2020 14:47 PM

ďIt was at that time that I initially told her that I couldn't initiate (probably 3 months prior to the conversation regarding withholding) and that she absolutely needed to turn on the pursuit and affection because I had absolutely zero left to giveĒ

This really stood out more then anything to me. I might be wrong here but this how I took it as a WW. Itís like your saying I canít give x y z anymore but you need to try to give x y z BUT I have nothing to giveĒ. To me itís like your setting her up to fail If you have nothing to give why would she keep trying? You told her she needs to try which she does BUT it follows by you had nothing to give. That also seems a like a rejection.

If she did try would you return it or turn her down?

PricklePatch pretty much describe how we are also. I need to feel connected with my H in order to have sex. My H needs sex to feel connected. Sometimes we need to give one person something in order to get what we need later. I donít always feel it when he wants bedroom time BUT I will give him bedroom time if thatís what he needs in order for him to give me what I need later from him. The more emotional connection. Yes I do turn him down also but not a lot.

It kinda sounds like both need to get what they need first in order to give to the other. But once you see the other person not giving it makes you two withhold even more. To the point where nothing is going on. Like I said before itís a give and take and it needs to work on both sides.

CaptainRogers posted 9/30/2020 17:36 PM

I think it is coming across as though I have demanded sex at the drop of a hat without any attempt at connecting. That could not be further from the truth.

When I say that I had attempted to initiate, I mean that I had spent time trying to connect emotionally, time trying to do the small actions to build affection, time performing within her Love Languages, all to be turned down time after time, and, to the same point, not have any of the affection/connection returned.

When I told my wife that she had to do the heavy lifting, it wasn't a "serve me now" statement. It was more Ealing the line of "I have nothing left to give. My tank is empty. I'm tired of all the rejection and the lack of effort. If you care, it's your turn to carry it."

So, my original question still remains. After that was discussed, is the lack of action on my wife's part to be considered purposely withholding affection & intimacy.

Rideitout posted 10/1/2020 06:57 AM

My buddy had a dead bedroom marriage... His W was just not intended and they had it maybe once a month. I suggested that he explain to her that since meaningful communication was 8mportant to her, that he take the same approach. Just tell her that he is more than willing to sit down with her for about 20 minutes once a month, since he doesn't really need to talk any more than that, even though it's a need of hers.
Funny how when you turn things around, they seem kinda wacky...

Except it's much worse than that. Because if his need for meaningful conversation is low and her's is high, while it might cause friction in the marriage, it doesn't mean she lives a life without meaningful conversation. She can have that with her friends, family, co-workers, etc. She might want it with her husband, might even D him if he can't do it for her, but she is in no way required to live without meaningful conversation in her life, she's free to pursue it from other people.

Sex is very different. If I say "no" it doesn't mean "call your Mom and do it with her instead" it's a "no". You will not have this in your life. Because it's not permitted to "get it elsewhere" like it is for almost all the other needs that people have in interpersonal relationships.

Pages: 1 · 2

Return to Forum List

Return to General

© 2002-2021 SurvivingInfidelity.com ®. All Rights Reserved.     Privacy Policy